Thai massage is performed while you are fully clothed, usually on a padded mat on the floor.
Instead of the relaxing gliding and kneading motions characteristic of more popular forms of massage, Thai massage employs stretching, pulling, and rocking techniques to relieve tension and enhance flexibility and range of motion. It is sometimes called the “lazy person’s yoga.”
The therapist uses his or her hands, knees, legs, and feet to move
you into a series of yoga-like stretches and also applies deep muscle
compression, joint mobilization, and acupressure.
Thai massage also utilizes energy work, which, according to ancient
Asian culture, treats the subtle energetic field within the body. It
corrects blockages, deficiencies, and imbalances in the flow of this
energy, which then is believed to improve the client’s health.
Is Thai Massage Painful?
Applying pressure to tender muscle fiber adhesion (known as “muscle knots”) can hurt, but there is a difference between that type of discomfort and pain due to excessive or inappropriate pressure and stretching.
While it may be difficult to avoid some discomfort when targeting
muscle knots, a qualified, licensed massage therapist should be able to
adjust the massage pressure and movements so that you are not in pain.
Thai massage is sometimes described as painful, but a licensed
massage therapist should use your feedback and adjust the degree of
pressure and stretching.
The Potential Benefits of Thai Massage
Massage of all types is often used to relieve stress and protect
against stress-related health issues. It is also said to boost energy
and improve range of motion and flexibility. Thai massage, in
particular, is said to benefit or ameliorate many different health
problems. Specifically, it may:
Relieve tension headaches
Reduce types of back pain (typically subacute and chronic nonspecific back pain)
Relieve muscle pain and spasticity as well as joint stiffness and pain
Increase flexibility and range of motion
Stimulate circulation and lymphatic drainage
Calm the nervous system